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A Spectacular Barn In Victoria’s High Country Named Airbnb’s Best Designed Stay

Victoria is filled with unique getaways that offer a much-needed retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Coombs Hill Barn, nestled on 100 acres of farming land in Victoria’s High Country, is one of the best!

In fact, the luxury private home recently won the title of Best Designed Stay at the 2022 Airbnb Host Awards – and it’s easy to see why. The incredible property is actually a 160-year-old American barn that was imported from the USA and lovingly transformed into a striking architectural escape overlooking Mt Buller.

Superhosts Katherine and Wade Harris explain how the special holiday home came to be, and share their top tips for hosting a property with Airbnb.

Lucy Feagins

The stunning Coombs Hill Barn is located on a working farm in Merrijig, which is less than three hours’ drive from Melbourne. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Superhost Katherine Harris runs the property with her husband, Wade, who is also a builder. Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

The holiday home is like a breath of fresh air! Photo – Marnie Hawson

A look inside the expansive living and dining room. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The ‘Great Room’ features an amazing 12-meter high fireplace. Each piece of stone was collected off the surrounding land of the property, before being hand laid over 18 long months! Photo – Marnie Hawson

‘Another feature that we love and always get comments on are the custom steel framed floor to ceiling windows,’ Katherine says. Photo – Marnie Hawson

‘The intention of the property was to be our family holiday home but we are also so happy that other families can now enjoy Coombs Hill and create special memories of their own,’ Katherine adds. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Having worked in the hotel, accomodation and real estate industries, Katherine has thoughtfully styled the home with her guests comfort in mind. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The property can host up to 10 guests! Photo – Courtesy Airbnb

A look into the contemporary kitchen. Photo – Marnie Hawson

A luxurious bathtub! Photo – Marnie Hawson

The restored barn features five bedrooms inside. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The property’s unique design paired with its incredible landscape have won Coombs Hill Barn the title of Best Designed Stay at the  2022 Airbnb Host Awards! Photo – Marnie Hawson

‘The views over the Delatite Valley from Coombs Hill are unparalleled,’ Katherine says. ‘We all love the remoteness of the property but also the fact that we are only a 15 minute drive into the township of Mansfield. It’s the best of both worlds.’ Photo – Marnie Hawson

Lucy Feagins
18th of October 2022

Even though Coombs Hill Barn has only been open for bookings on Airbnb since 2021, the story behind the award-winning accommodation goes way back.

Superhost Katherine Harris says the converted barn stands on 100 acres of farming land, which has been in her husband Wade’s family for 15 years. In 2017 Wade’s father, inspired by his travels to America, purchased and imported an authentic barn all the way from Indiana, USA!

‘He wanted to recycle the structure that was going to be pulled down, and turn it into a unique home,’ Katherine says. ‘It was important to us to give this barn a new life to be enjoyed by many for another 160 years.’

‘The process took over three years, from dismantling the barn in America and shipping it over to Australia, to the rebuild on our family property in Victoria’s High Country. Once Terry had completed the build, he passed the reigns over to Wade and myself to furnish and style the property.’

With Katherine’s knowledge from her career in the hotel and accomodation industries, and Wade’s skills as a builder, the duo enhanced the five-bedroom property’s rustic beauty without the help of an interior designer. They created an interior palette that reflected the barn’s raw timber beams, mixed with the natural colours of the surrounding landscape.

Although the property was originally built to be a private holiday home for their family, Katherine says living in Melbourne meant they couldn’t get to it as often as they liked – prompting them to list the home on Airbnb.

‘We felt like the property sitting empty was such a shame and we wanted other families to be able to visit, enjoy the space and create their own memories,’ she adds. And it didn’t take long for them to start getting ‘incredible feedback’.

‘They adore the views from every room and almost all guests want to know about the history of the property, and how it was dismantled and shipped across the world to be given a new life in Australia.’

Katherine’s Top Tips For Hosting the Ultimate Airbnb listing

– My number one tip for a listing would be to let your design choices tell a story. We believe that guests love to stay in places with a special story to be told. Try to mimic the colours and feel of your surrounds and choose pieces unique to your region. This can be true for city properties as well as remote properties.

– Ensuring your listing has high quality photography is so important. This paired with an accurate and detailed description will help really capture the story of your property.

– Invest in good quality and beautiful pieces. Dressing our property with good quality furniture and styling pieces including lovely soft linens gives our guests a luxurious and calming holiday experience. And ultimately, beautifully styled properties attract more guests!

Click here to discover our 8 simple tips for setting-up and hosting your own Airbnb listing! Or, visit Airbnb for extra hosting tips!

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